Launching ELNE: a new consortium on School Leadership

Credits EFEE

The Education Leadership Network Europe (ELNE), with ETUCE as one of the key leaders alongside the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), the European School Heads Association (ESHA), the European Parents Association (EPA), and the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) is a new transformative consortium on school leadership set to shape the future of education in Europe.

The kick-off meeting of the new consortium took place in Brussels on 6-7 September 2023. Over the next four years, it will bring together a network of 100 partners encompassing employers, education trade unions, schools, ministries of education, local governments, VET networks, school networks, universities, and research institutes. 18 ETUCE member organisations are also formal members of the consortium and other education trade unions are welcome to follow up on the network’s next activities. The focus of the network will be discussing school leadership from the perspective of the overarching theme for the network’s first year of activity: "Learning Communities." This theme underscores the critical need for inclusive, collaborative, and effective educational environments.

The core mission of the project, which follows up ETUCE’s work on school leadership as a former EPNoSL member and in the EEPN consortium, is to collect good examples and research on school leadership to inform policymaking at both European and national levels. With the aim of promoting collaborative school governance and management, the ELNE project contributes to the realization of the European Union’s strategic objectives for implementing the European Education Area (EEA). The network’s outputs will be webinars, conferences, forums, a journal collecting research and good practices, and policy recommendations to the European Commission.

The members of the ELNE consortium will be discussing topics such as the enhancement of learning communities and educational systems, collaborative leadership for learning and well-being, creating inclusive and resilient schools, engaging stakeholders in educational reform, sustainable education and innovation, and promoting school democracy. The themes of improving the attractiveness of the teaching profession and tackling teacher shortages, ETUCE’s primary mission, will also be discussed. These various topics revolve around school leadership and emphasize the critical role of school leaders - including teachers - in providing quality education, ensuring equity, and creating a positive school environment.

ETUCE, as the voice of teachers, actively engages in the ENEL project, recognizing its significance in facilitating discussions about school leadership expectations among ETUCE's member trade unions and the 18 member organizations within the ELNE consortium. This involvement aligns with ETUCE's policies on school leadership (see ETUCE and EFEE’s ESSDE Outcome Joint Declaration EFEE/ETUCE on “School Leadership” and ETUCE’s school leadership survey) and its commitment to promoting teacher participation in democratic decision-making within educational institutions, as highlighted in its School Leadership Policy Paper. The project's importance lies in its potential to shape European education policies and ensure that the perspectives and concerns of educators are considered, ultimately benefiting the quality of education for school leaders and students.